Barker grew up in Cedartown, and now he is heading into the ninth grade with many accomplishments under his belt. Earlier this year Barker won the “North Georgia Idol” contest, giving him $1,000 and two scholarships. Barker also won the “Cedartown Idol” contest when he was eight years old. He has participated in multiple productions with the Cedartown Theatrical Performers Company and had the lead role in the 2012 Follies.
The album, called “Come to the Water” was recorded with help from Barker's mother, Nikki Shaw, and his two brothers, Eli and Isaac Shaw. Barker said the album is about praising God and thanking him for all he has done for Barker and his family. The family worked for about six to eight months on completing the album.
Barker's family has a long tradition of involvement with gospel music. His maternal great-grandmother and her sister were also musicians in the 50's, who travelled the South and performed under the name The Liner Sisters.
According to Barker, the album pays tribute to his heritage. The songs selected from the church hymnal are some favorites of his great-grandmother.
“We wanted to make [the album] for my great-grandmother,” said Barker, “after my great-grandfather died, we really just wanted to lift her up, show her that we're here for her and praise God in the process.”
The cover of the album is a picture of his great-grandfather being baptized.
In October, Barker will be attending the “Spotlight Event” in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where he will audition for talent scouts and attend workshops for improving his performances and expanding his portfolio.
Barker said that he draws inspiration from his family and God. He said that he has not written any original songs yet, but would like to. He is also taking piano lessons and learning to play guitar. Barker and his brothers perform at churches in the area.
Nikki Shaw, Barker's mother, said that she would support him pursuing a career in music.
“When he won the Northwest Georgia Idol, he said that he wanted to be a professional singer,” said Shaw.
Barker also mentioned wanting to join the military.
When Barker is not working on his music or school, he enjoys watching John Wayne movies, fishing and playing video games with his friends.
Copies of the album are available on CD at Rusty's at 435 N. College Street in Cedartown.
Fans can also call WGAA-AM, the local radio station, and request his solo song from “Come to the Water,” which is titled “I Went Down a Beggar.”